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Strategies For Brownshirt Apologists

[ 75 ] October 27, 2010 |

To a normal human being, stomping on the head of a defenseless woman who isn’t committing any crime would seem to be the ultimate in indefensible actions.   But if the brownshirt in question is a supporter of a teabag-endorsed candidate, defenses of the indefensible must be made!    There are a variety of approaches available:

  • She had it coming. The most predictable defense, and indeed it is the preferred approach of The Donalde and various other wingers.    Apparently, if you have been accused of a minor criminal offense months ago in another state, then all future vigilante violence against you becomes perfectly acceptable!    Rarely have I found a better illustration of Susan of Texas’s overgeneralized but very applicable to teabaggers dictum that “[c]onservatives are authoritarian followers. Libertarians are authoritarian followers who think they are authoritarian leaders.”
  • The “pre-emptive 2×4” rationale. In a related line of apologism, William Jacobson explains that for all we know the woman, while not actually doing anything wrong, might have been up to no good — spraying Rand Paul with a Slurpee, giving him some communist fancy mustard, the possibilities are endless!   As you can see, the goons had no choice but to attack her — real violence is the only possible response to entirely imagined possibilities of violence.
  • Rand Paul was set up by MoveOn, Code Pink, Bill Ayers, Stokely Carmichael in a designer dress, and Jessica Valenti’s sweater. If you want to apologize for Brownshirts without surrendering every shred of human decency, a shrewder approach is just to deny the whole thing.   This is the strategery adopted by Ann Althouse, who asks you to believe her over your lying eyes about the head stomping, and then speculates with no evidence whatsoever that the whole thing was just a setup.   This is discredited quickly, which is central to her point.   Needless to say, Glenn Reynolds finds Ms. Althouse’s ideas intriguing and would like to subscribe to her newsletter.
  • The Ginni Thomas approach.    The brownshirt himself has the most straightforward response:   the woman he assaulted should apologize to him! And then she should apologize on behalf of Anita Hill for being harassed by Clarence Thomas.

Hmm, close call, but in determining the most ludicrous response I have to go with originality of Althouse’s crackpot conspiracy theorizing over Tim Profitt’s chutzpah.

UPDATE: As several commenters note, Althouse’s doubling down on her preposterous theory in comments is indeed very amusing.   I especially enjoyed this argument that the beating was probably a sham because “[w]e know she started off on a dirty trick.”  That (admittedly pretty lame) stunt constitutes a dirty trick? Don Segretti must be rolling over in his grave.   The next MoveOn “dirty trick”:  an Uncle Sam on stilts!   That would justify use of a fire hose and three swings of a blackjack.

Comments (75)

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  1. R. Porrofatto says:

    As a law professor, intellectual, and oenophile, Althouse is constantly in speculation mode regarding alternate theories of the “crime,” i.e., reality. However, more often that not, speculation in her case conjures not so much a second gunman on the grassy knoll, but a gun-toting gerbil in Connelly’s hat. Kind of like Donald Rumsfeld filtered through Gertrude Stein: absence of evidence is evidence of evidence. Hic.

  2. mark f says:

    Liberals are the real purveyors of violence. Union thugs stop Ken Gladney from kicking a guy on the ground! That guy who pretended to fall when a Martha Coakley staffer touched him! The innocent face-puncher who lost a finger to a deranged guy with a sign! That annoying kid who pretended to be hurt when that congressman grabbed his wrist and asked who he was! The poor Rand Paul supporter who found his boot being headbutted from below!

  3. [...] Conservative”. Lawyers, Guns and Money gives hint to how the script might proceed – Strategies For Brownshirt Apologists in commenting on this news from TPM (Kentucky Stomper Wants An Apology From Woman He Assaulted [...]

  4. [...] also Scott Lemieux’s review of wingnut excuses for the stomp. Spotlight 3 [...]

  5. mds says:

    Hmm, close call, but in determining the most ludicrous response I have to go with originality of Althouse’s crackpot conspiracy theorizing over Tim Profitt’s chutzpah.

    (1) It isn’t all that original, since there was right-wing chatter about it being a false flag operation almost from the get-go.

    (2) I’ll have you know that Ms. Althouse is the Paul Masson Professor of Superlaw at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and hence above reproach.

    (3) Also, the esteemed Tennessean linking uncritically thoughtfully to her horseshit carefully-reasoned argument is none other than the Bearegard Hootenanny Pillock Professor of Excellence at the universally-acclaimed University of Tennessee School of Law. And it’s unthinkable that he would promote a load of horseshit in the latest installment in a well-established pattern of intellectual laziness and moral bankruptcy. Dude has publications.

  6. Evil Bender says:

    Central to the practice of truly high-quality hackery is the driving need to keep digging. Althouse’s ridiculous conspiracy theory is shot when the actual assailant comes forward, so she grabs her shovel and goes for some victim-blaming, some “not all Tea Baggers are violent” obviousness, and whatever else she can think of to distract from her basic inability to simply condemn a heinous action.

    She knows that if she digs long enough, enough people will make the mistake of rebutting to her specific points that the ultimate result will be many people will lose sight of what’s really happened: way up there in that tiny circle of sky, a woman was attacked for having different political views from the attacker.

    But how can we be expected to notice that? Down here it’s just Althouse and a lot of dirt.

  7. Clambone says:

    From Oliver’s comments:

    “This makes no sense. The victim was forced to the ground face down; how did Althouse make a detailed examination of the position of their breasts?”

  8. Malaclypse says:

    It is not just wingnuts making these sorts of arguments, unfortunately.

    The whole brouhaha is apparently Digby’s fault.

    • The whole brouhaha is apparently Digby’s fault.

      That’s not fair. Lambert also blames someone who might have been a Democrat and who might have stepped on a Green voter, because if this ever happened, it would definitely prove that Democrats have double standards.

      Back on the original crazy, has anyone alerted Althouse that Ms. Valle was carrying onion rings at the time?

      • Malaclypse says:

        Forget the onion rings – I have it on good authority that both Valle and Digby have breasts. We are through the looking glass here, people!

        • Yes, but first let’s take a closer look at those onion rings.

          • Malaclypse says:

            Yes, but first let’s take a closer look at those onion rings.

            Okay, if you would rather investigate onion rings, then maybe you really are subverting the youth of America, with your tribalism, your D apologism, your legacy parties, your pom poms, your mixed metaphors, and your deep-fried vegetables.

            At long last, sir: are you a Reverse Vampire?

      • More pathetic distortions from a D apologist. If Berube had any interest in making sure the story was correct, as opposed to being the kind of fakery career “progressives” propagated in 2008, he’d wouldn’t equate questioning with “blame.” But then, as his pom pom waving shows, tribalism exists in both legacy parties. Sad.

        • I used to be a Democrat. But after some Rand Paul goon stomped on a woman’s head in Kentucky, I got really upset about some guy on the internet who smeared Mickey Kantor in 2008.

          If only Hillary had saved us from career “progressives” and triangulators, we wouldn’t have to resort to this brownshirt apologism today.

          • Like I said. Pathetic. I do take some satisfaction in the idea that the career “progressives” are actually taking the trouble to smear and distort third party and NOTA advocates (as opposed to censoring and banning them, as they did with single payer advocates). It means you’re worried. That’s a good thing.

            People who actually read the thread at Corrente will see skeptical questioning, combined with local knowledge from TN readers. I do understand that critical thinking is a problem for legacy party pom-pom wavers, but unfortunately, the faction now in charge of the Ds has a record of smears, false charges of racsism, not to mention election fraud, and so skepticism is fully warranted — as your comments on this thread amply demonstrate. Apparently, this one proved out! Congratulations.

            • Shorter Lambert: the fact that I am totally incoherent is central to my point. It means you are worried! Victory!1!1!11!

            • Malaclypse says:

              but unfortunately, the faction now in charge of the Ds has a record of smears, false charges of racsism, not to mention election fraud, and so skepticism is fully warranted

              Donalde would have spelled “racism” correctly. He also managed to name-drop Squeaky Fromme.

              Here’s your vote fraud. Good work abetting vote suppression.

              • Hey, wait a second — what is this business about “local knowledge from TN readers”? Is Lambert saying that his readers in Tennessee can see Rand Paul rallies in Kentucky from their houses? Or is he saying “I get my late-breaking, faux-stomping, vote-fraud news from Instapundit”?

            • Bobby Thomson says:

              Dude, when your frothing hatred for Democrats means that while you are discussing a fascist beatdown by Koch Party Republicans, you still can’t resist constructing some alternative reality where Democrats are the real oppressors, I’d say it’s finally time for some introspection.

              • 1/1/11? What’s happening on Jan. 1?

                Victory, dude. The Corrente Party and the Tea Party will finally take over Congress and begin the impeachment of Hussein al-Shabazz X “the One” Obama.

              • Ya know, “dude,” I think you ought to put down the pom poms. With a record like:

                1. Normalizing Bush’s executive power grab, and going beyond it to advocate assassinating US citizens;

                2. Normalizing 10% nominal (20% real) unemployment as far as the eye can see;

                3. Organizing the Cat Food Commission to cut Social Security when the election is over;

                4. Making the too-big-to-fail banks even bigger

                what’s not to like? And that’s before we get to the whole new war and the HCR fiasco.

                I take back the pom poms. That’s unfair. After all, it takes two hands to wave pom poms…

                NOTE As for the links, the fake video I instanced was all over the same bloggers who are all over this story. You don’t think that makes skepticism warranted. I say, look at the record. YMMV, and obviously does. Oh, and I like it that nobody responds to the link to affidavits of D caucus fraud in TX. Fraudsters to the end.

              • Malaclypse says:

                Does repeating the phrase “pom poms” lend credibility amongst the Purity Troll set? If you say “pom poms” at least 12 times a day, will an SWA candidate get a vote?

              • Malaclypse says:

                Oh, and I like it that nobody responds to the link to affidavits of D caucus fraud in TX.

                You mean your “voter fraud” link? Well, I don’t know how to respond to a two-year-old broken link. You also did not respond to my clean link on the myth of voter fraud from today.

                Seriously, “voter fraud” is about keeping minorities from voting. Full stop. Keep up the good work.

      • More pathetic distortions from a D apologist. If Berube had any interest in making sure the story was correct, as opposed to being the kind of fakery career “progressives” propagated in 2008, he’d wouldn’t equate questioning with “blame.” But then, as his pom pom waving shows, tribalism exists in both legacy parties. Sad.

    • The Wrath of Oliver Khan says:

      I used to read Somersby’s blog pretty regularly but stopped for a few years because his Al Gore obsession was getting obnoxious. What the hell has happened to him since then??

      • Bobby Thomson says:

        Contrarian concern troll is contrary. That sums up Somersby’s oeuvre. Back in 2000 when he was literally the only one on the internets calling out the villagers for their nonsense, he performed a valuable service. Unfortunately, competition caused him to evolve into some awful David Broder/WaPo ombudsman hybrid.

    • witless chum says:

      Somerby, at least, doesn’t make any of the sorts of arguments Scott highlights here. He rips Digby and Ed Schultz for, he says, overgeneralizing and comparing tea partiers to nazi, respectively.

      When, I hadn’t read the Daily Howler in years.

  9. Gern Blanston says:

    God, Althouse is such an embarrassment.

  10. Gern Blanston says:

    (3) Also, the esteemed Tennessean linking uncritically thoughtfully to her horseshit carefully-reasoned argument is none other than the Bearegard Hootenanny Pillock Professor of Excellence at the universally-acclaimed University of Tennessee School of Law. And it’s unthinkable that he would promote a load of horseshit in the latest installment in a well-established pattern of intellectual laziness and moral bankruptcy. Dude has publications.

    Before I even read this comment, I was thinking to myself: Althouse is nothing more than Instapundit in drag.

  11. Damian Hammontree says:

    Mark F has it right: #5 is “But liberals do it all the time!”, with either 5a: “Don’t ask me for any details, because I just heard this from Rush and don’t actually know anything”, or 5b: “Don’t actually read any of the news stories I’ll cite as evidence, because they don’t remotely say what I say they do.”

  12. Flavor Flavius Julianus says:

    It’s pointless, Michael. Lambert welcomes your hatred.

    • But I don’t hate him. I totally get that he’s the real victim here. I just don’t understand what “critical thinking” means.

      • Bill Murray says:

        It’s the thinking one does while on the toilet

        • Heh, teh funny. Can an Obama Fan make irony that’s too heavy to lift? Apparently so…

          • Do feel free not to respond on point!

            I was doing you a favor, dear boy. Because if I had responded on point, I would have noted that in response to a young woman being subjected to a neo-Nazi-esque “curb job” by Rand Paul’s goons, you suggested that the whole thing was a Democrat Party hoax, on the basis of something some blogger did two years ago. This is clinical insanity, you poor thing, not “critical thinking.”

            As for your pathetic attempts at lefter-than-thou purity-trolling, it’s not just that you’re yammering incoherently at people who don’t defend Obama’s lousy record on civil liberties and calling them “Obama fans” (presumably because this is what the voices in your head are telling you about us). It’s also that your Obama hatred is underwritten by your profoundly delusional sense that everything would have been better under Hillary, whose only salient policy difference with Obama was that she voted for war in Iraq.

            • Scott Lemieux says:

              your profoundly delusional sense that everything would have been better under Hillary, whose only salient policy difference with Obama was that she voted for war in Iraq.

              This. On the civil liberties and foreign policy stuff where Obama’s record has been its worst, there isn’t a shred of evidence that Clinton would have been better.

              • hv says:

                On the civil liberties front, she voted for the Patriot Act, so it’s hard to believe she was prepared to fight hard on that issue.

                On the foreign policy stuff, isn’t she the Condoleezza Rice of the drama? I mean, it’s not like we have to rely on counter-factual analysis.

            • Malaclypse says:

              everything would have been better under Hillary, whose only salient policy difference with Obama was that she voted for war in Iraq.

              I believed this in 2008, and favored Obama simply because Hillary never saw a war she would not vote for. On policy, I saw no other differences.

              In hindsight, I failed to account for one thing: Obama wants to be bipartisan, while (I believe) that Hillary remembers the 1990s well enough to never trust the Republican Party about anything.

  13. actor212 says:

    Look, she fell in front of the guy’s foot! Her head was an attractive nuisance! This guy should be given a full pay disability leave!

  14. actor212 says:

    “This makes no sense. The victim was forced to the ground face down; how did Althouse make a detailed examination of the position of their breasts?”

    The winebox gives her clairvoyance.

  15. jon says:

    Bully boys that dream of becoming Brownshirts, that would jump to become Blackshirts. This has been covered adequately by Fromm and Arendt, among others.

  16. hv says:

    With friends like Althouse:

    Alpha, why do you think the men were not detained so they could be arrested? Do you think there is any chance that all participants were from MoveOn.org? The women was a fake Paul supporter identified with a label. How do we know the men weren’t that too? … Why didn’t the people in the crowd detain the thugs? Isn’t this rather fishy?

    In Althouse’s world, either a) it was staged or b) the crowd was culpably violent and abetting. She initially leaned towards option a) since option b) seems so improbable.

    But it doesn’t take sherlock holmes to remind you that once you have eliminated the impossible…

    Anyone care to wager that Althouse stops completely asking why the crowd failed to detain Profitt? I’ll give odds!

  17. As far as the “fascist beatdown,” what Obama’s done in terms of executive power is worse than anything Bush ever did. See Glenn Greenwald:

    At this point, I didn’t believe it was possible, but the Obama administration has just reached an all-new low in its abysmal civil liberties record. In response to the lawsuit filed by Anwar Awlaki’s father asking a court to enjoin the President from assassinating his son, a U.S. citizen, without any due process, the administration late last night, according to The Washington Post, filed a brief asking the court to dismiss the lawsuit without hearing the merits of the claims. That’s not surprising: both the Bush and Obama administrations have repeatedly insisted that their secret conduct is legal but nonetheless urge courts not to even rule on its legality. But what’s most notable here is that one of the arguments the Obama DOJ raises to demand dismissal of this lawsuit is “state secrets”: in other words, not only does the President have the right to sentence Americans to death with no due process or charges of any kind, but his decisions as to who will be killed and why he wants them dead are “state secrets,” and thus no court may adjudicate their legality.

    bama’s now asserting a power so radical — the right to kill American citizens and do so in total secrecy, beyond even the reach of the courts — that it’s “too harsh even for” one of the most far-right War on Terror cheerleading-lawyers in the nation. But that power is certainly not “too harsh” for the kind-hearted Constitutional Scholar we elected as President, nor for his hordes of all-justifying supporters soon to place themselves to the right of David Rivkin as they explain why this is all perfectly justified. One other thing, as always: vote Democrat, because the Republicans are scary!

    Cue the toilet humor, accusations of “incoherent jabbering,” and so and so forth. Knock yourselves out, “dudes!”

    • Jay B. says:

      Because I object to Obama’s civil liberties record, I’m skeptical some woman who gets assaulted by a tea bagger over a race in Kentucky!

      Hey, that horse I’m flogging isn’t the same horse! What the fuck?

      • Er, no. Because Obama’s civil liberties record is much worse than Bush’s, Obama’s blind loyalists don’t have a clue about what fascism is.

        • Malaclypse says:

          But I understand we have pom poms, and “tribalism”.

          Tribalism.

          No hidden assumptions there, nosireebob.

          • DocAmazing says:

            Luo blow, dude.

          • Gee. No response to Greenwald whatever. If Obama cheerleading doesn’t account for that, what does? Ignorance?

            • hv says:

              Questioning its relevance IS a response.

              You may not know this, lambert strether, but sometimes the wild world of the internet has annoying individuals who try to highjack a thread to debate about something else (colloquially called “trolls”). So most individuals carefully assess relevance before engaging in other layers of debate — it is a defensive mechanism and quite prudent.

              Unfortunately for you, this means you won’t be able to spark exactly the debate you desire without some display of relevance.

        • Jay B. says:

          How fucking obtuse do you have to be to continually make an argument (Obama is shitty on civil liberties) that no one is refuting in order to try and shatter an illusion no one has?

          • How obtuse do you have to be to be yammering about Fascism while the same “dude” you support for President makes claims for the sort of all powerful executive that James Madison called tyranny?

            I’ll answer that for you: Pretty fucking obtuse. Or perhaps I should say “O-btuse…”

            You may now resume the toilet and breast jokes, in the absence of any ability to engage with the argument…

            • Malaclypse says:

              And you may resume defending a white-supremacist candidate, while perpetuating myths about vote fraud that only serve to suppress minority turnout, while going on about the “tribalism” of Obama supporters.

              Look, small words so you understand: nobody here has defended Obama’s horrid record on civil liberties. However, most people here believe him to be less awful than President Palin is likely to be.

              If 2001-2009 did not teach you that being ruled by the party of sane, evil plutocrats is infinitely preferable to being ruled by the party of insane evil plutocrats, then you really are pretty fucking clueless. You might want to ask the million or so dead Iraqis if Obama is really worse than Bush.

            • jim says:

              Obama didn’t invade Iraq, didn’t turn a surplus into $11 trillion in debt, didn’t deregulate the fuck out of Wall Street, didn’t gut-shoot habeas corpus, & didn’t institute torture as official policy – the GOP did. Next go around they intend to privatize Social Security, roll back all the gains of the last two years, have a nice new war with Iran & maybe see if they can abolish the rest of the Constitution, except for the Second Amendment.

              You do not have a three-party system, which makes your choice of a target for your ire rather telling – if you dedicate your time & energy to trashing Obama, you may as well join the GOP so you can at least get a regular paycheck out of it. With or without pay, rest assured anyone who understands US politics can see who you’re really working for.

    • hv says:

      I love trolls, I’ve got plenty of time on my hands.

      The error you are making here is failing to understand the difference between “further” and “worse.”

      Bush moved us from point A to point B. Obama moved us from point B to point C. Yes, C is further than B. Obama is certainly no progressive when it comes to civil liberties. He didn’t roll back Bush and he didn’t freeze Bush; he advanced Bush. But the salient question for worse-ness is which is greater, A to B or B to C. Maybe you don’t remember A. A was real nice.

  18. djw says:

    I certainly hope lambert has traveled to us via time machine from May, 2008, because the alternative is too horrifying to contemplate.

  19. the farmer says:

    Uh oh.

    Reuters:

    UN investigator urges probe of alleged US torture
    Tue Oct 26, 2010
    U.N. says “torture practices” under Bush not continuing
    By Louis Charbonneau

    UNITED NATIONS, Oct 26 (Reuters) – A U.N. torture investigator said President Barack Obama has ended harsh interrogations that were commonplace during the Bush era but an independent probe is needed of U.S. practices since 2001.

    “There is a major difference between the Bush and the Obama administration,” Manfred Nowak told reporters on Tuesday. “To my knowledge, the torture practices under the Bush administration are not anymore continuing.”

    Nowak, an Austrian human rights lawyer who has been U.N. special rapporteur on torture for six years, called for an investigation of all allegations of U.S. torture and collusion with states that use torture since the fight against militants began in earnest after the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001.

    cue Cuckoowire headline: UN TORTURE INVESTIGATOR LACKS CRITICAL THINKING ABILITIES – WHITEWASHES OBOT FUHRER’S DARK FASCIST AGENDA!

    *

  20. [...] the car,” which is typical for leftists. And of course, commie idiots like Blue Texan and Scott Lemieux are simply suborning the dishonesty. It’s all plain as [...]

  21. [...] think this tops “Maybe Rand Paul’s goons were Code Pink ratfuckers,” although perhaps not “it’s entirely plausible that Jose Padilla had to be [...]

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